While I was teaching today I thought about all the potential conflicts we face in our life and shared with everyone some life lessons from the Bible as it relates to conflict. Here are a few that I hope you find helpful:
“God blesses those who are peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
When we have unresolved conflict it can…
- interrupt our fellowship with God
- block our personal happiness
- stop our spiritual growth
“Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” James 3:18
How we can be peacemakers?
- Initiate contact with the conflictual person.
“If you’re standing before the altar in the Temple, giving an offering to God, and you suddenly remember someone has something against you, leave your offering there beside the altar. Go at once and first be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your gift to God.” Matthew 5:23-24
- Ask God for wisdom and don’t rely on your own.
“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and God will gladly tell you . . .” James 1:5
- Recognize your own shortcomings and failures.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? They are caused by selfish desires that are continually at war inside you.” James 4:1
• Don’t be a “log head.”
“Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? . . . First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:3,5
- Listen to the other person’s perspective.
“. . . be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:4-5
- Always speak the truth with love – words do matter.
“Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed . . .” Ephesians 4:29
- Blaming others does not fix the problem.
“You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Colossians 3:8
- Your ministry is as a peacemaker – you have a ministry of reconciliation.
Reconciliation = reestablishing communication (it doesn’t mean you will hold hands and sing “Kumbaya, My Lord.”
“God has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. 2 Corinthians 5:18
Shine your light and be peacemakers – the world needs them.